Funding mental health is necessary: McGorry
Australian of the Year Professor Patrick McGorry is confident that the Prime Minister Julia Gillard will not ignore to include mental health in the Government's health reforms like her predecessor Kevin Rudd.
The mental health expert called on the Prime Minister Ms Gillard to entrust an extra $640 million per annum to the mental health division from 2011 at this particular segment was sidelined by the Rudd government. Middle Australia is also anxious about that this particular aspect since mental health is now a political imperative.
The health reform deal approved by all states and territories except Western Australia was "totally lopsided" in support of hospitals and the mental health sector grew more stunned, outraged and furious during the last few months. Professor McGorry outlined his vision for a better mental health system at the National Press Club in Canberra asking for an equal status between mental and physical health care by 2020 which also aims at political leadership.
He also added that it is indeed a wonderful opportunity for the new prime minister to restore faith by making immediate mental health investments aimed at improving services, reducing suicide and imparting knowledge in the country. By 2020 mental health funding needs to be double as a proportion of the health budget as to what it is today. The Rudd government put just over $100 million for mental health services in this year's annual budget But Prof McGorry said Ms Gillard's step would do miracles by extending her support towards the health minister (Nicola Roxon) to close this gap.
Professor McGorry says he is hopeful that Ms Gillard will reform the COAG reforms which largely ignored mental health since Julia Gillard has a great understanding in the field of mental health and has visited our youth mental health service when she was a health minister The minister certainly has a lot more issues to sort out before placing this matter but the professor is more keen and looking forward to discuss the issue with the prime minister and he feels that this issue is in “safe hands”.
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